40 Cliff Crescent by Barb McIntyre

The ingredients of a good gossip are all here in 40 Cliff Crescent. Women of a certain age, with busy lives but enough time left over to discuss the neighbours, themselves, people who annoy them and how life turns out the way you least expect.
Get set to meet, Nancy, Daniel, Louise, Grant, Anita, Olivia, Jimmy and the mysterious Ethan/Edwin (to name a few), in a fast-paced read meant to be carried around in the purse as a defense against boredom.
The bridge club and the burglary, weaving in and out of the tales springing from just one house in what might seem an average suburban neighbourhood, Barb McIntyre’s latest domestic fiction does not disappoint. “The healing power of time has not been exaggerated,” she reassures us and we know she has been there too.
Then there’s the humour like raisins in a cookie: Personalized singing greeting cards, Lady farts, Bum trumpets, Marriage Compatibility Tests, Workations, Good books, cats and old songs – McIntyre puts an intriguing spin on the definition of familiar while dispersing the kind of talk between friends that we’d all wish went on in our own relationships.
“I’m a sweater weather person and he’s a swelter weather person,” a character describes her relationship. Narrator changes, chapter by chapter, let us get to know the players as though they lived next door.
McIntyre’s experience with the cycle of life is shared here like words from an old friend, her best guess on why things happen – and what can be done about them. You know, page after page, that McIntyre has been this way before, even perhaps, understands your life even better than you do.
Most of all 40 Cliff Crescent is a book you can come back to, again and again, picking up where you left off with remembrance and pleasure. I am grateful for writers like Barb McIntyre for tearing off pieces of their lives to feed ducks like me.

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